I’m a recovering perfectionist. If I can’t do something 100% right the first time, I don’t want do it. It’s why I never tried becoming a photographer or why pursuing a career in writing makes me squeeze my butt cheeks together and scrinch my nose. Motherhood tested me to the limits and I finally broke. At a certain point, I had to give in to imperfection. It was pretty freeing.
I now try to live by an 80/20 rule. If I can do things well 80% of the time, then 20% of the time I give myself a break. If I’ve done laundry and cleaned all the dishes, I’ll leave the sweeping for later. Sometimes my husband will sweep before I get the chance. This makes me feel incredibly guilty that I wasn’t perfect so I usually yell at him and swat the broom from his hand, snapping, “Oh, give it to me. I’ll just do it.” It’s only now that I try to remember it makes him feel good to help me, so I grit my teeth and repeat how grateful I am while digging my nails into my palms.
I do the same with diet. I eat cleanly most days, but sometimes there’s this big plate of spaghetti that wanders into my kitchen and just hangs out until I eat it. What am I supposed to do?
Or buying environmentally conscious household products. We use fair trade shea butter body soap and all natural dish detergent. But you know what? Sometimes I want to feel the film of antibacterial Dial soap on my back when I get out of the shower, just to ensure I’m really clean.
Steering clear of my perfectionism is a daily practice. PRACTICE. It’s not something that comes naturally. I consciously have to check to ensure I’m making choices that don’t lead to me being locked in a room for 24 hours cleaning the baseboard with q-tips and peroxide because I saw it on Pinterest. Where can you apply 80/20?